Re: Character identities

From: David Starner (
Date: Thu Oct 24 2002 - 01:46:58 EDT

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: Character identities"

    On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 06:49:38PM -0400, David J. Perry wrote:
    > > First, is it compliant with Unicode for an Antiqua font to use an s
    > > glyph for ſ (U+017F)? It makes switching between Antiqua and Fraktur
    > > fonts possible, and it is arguably the glyph given to the middle s
    > > in modern Antiqua fonts.
    > If you are sure that the font will only be used for printing German
    > this might be OK as a stopgap.

    Why? Yes, if you want to use a true long s, you're going to need a
    different font. But I can see this paired with an old Antiqua font, too,
    if you want to use it for an exact copy of the American Constitution or

    > However, even with German, here's the
    > problem: if a user searched for a word containing -s at the end, and
    > typed it using the s key, then it would not be matched (unless the
    > search engine already knew that long s and s are equivalent).

    You've got the long s and s reversed. In old printing, the s is the
    letter that appears at the end. I don't see it as a problem; if you
    typed in the long s, search for the long s. It might get confusing if
    more general purpose fonts started doing this, but unless you have a
    need to exactly reproduce the original document, you probably shouldn't
    use the long s anyway.

    > An
    > OpenType font that is smart enough to substitute a long s glyph at the
    > right spots is the much superior long-term solution.

    There are two problems with this; one, German has had a number of
    orthography changes, each time changing slightly when you're supposed to
    use the long s (IIRC). Secondly, no matter what the convention, it
    requires a dictionary lookup for various case; I'm not sure you can do
    that in an OpenType font, and it's not something I'm sure I want a
    renderer doing in the first place.

    David Starner -
    Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom--
    A field where a thousand corpses lie. 
      -- Stephen Crane, "War is Kind"

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